Stephen Fry, at the Hay Festival in Wales, announced the most beautiful tweet – spake by Canuck medical physicist Marc MacKenzie. Probably spoken quietly to himself as he shoulder-barged the particle accelerator between the MRI and PET scanner.
The winning tweet was:
“I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it’ll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it.”
Funny? Sure. He is, in fact, a very funny man with an enviable twist to his intelligence that produces clever insights and observations (see his twitter page here), but I was a little disappointed in the choice as I was hoping for beautiful, in the classic sense, rather than clever, in the comedic one. Still, as has been pointed out to me, I’m a bit of a party pooper, so I should probably take a leaf from Bing Cosby’s book and accentuate the positive.
MacKenzie has had the delicious thing happen that all ardent tweeters, bloggers and facebookers crave: a fan explosion. His twitter followers have leapt from 150 to over 2,400 in just two days. MacKenzie himself is surprised by the honour but understandably quite chuffed as well, “Stephen Fry likes my material — how cool is that?” He might start getting used to recognition after being a finalist last year in a CBC sponsored Twitter contest. He only entered the Hay Festival competition at the prompting of a friend, not expecting anything to come of it, and he says won’t let it all go to his head, “I mean, I’m a PhD physicist, not a professional writer, but I really do enjoy when I can get a funny tweet down,” he said.
Of his process Mackenzie says, “A certain percentage of my tweets start with a cliché, but then I give it a twist. I enjoy finding the ridiculous in the trite, and even better when it hints at a deeper truth.” Also he has a respect for grammar and spelling that, given the effect of social media on language, I can’t help but admire.
Hopefully the rush of success won’t give him the tweeting equivalent of stage fright as, scrolling through his tweets, I can’t help but giggle to myself and look forward to more. Here are some of my favourites of MacKenzie:
Wow. Flood of email this a.m. Sadly, most of it still about my penis.
If I had to fire someone, I think I’d say “You know how they say there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’? Well, there’s no ‘u’, either”.
And after Fry announced him as the Hay Festival Twitter winner: “Can’t sleep. Too keyed up on praise from @StephenFry. Maybe I need a huge ‘screw you’ from @HughLaurie to balance it out.”